EDIT : I have an updated version of this post on my food specific blog now. Check it out at What’s Cooking Rachel?
I get so excited when I have a reason to make something special for dinner or dessert. This past Friday, we went over to the Perin’s house for dinner. I’ve got dessert, yes! Since Andrew is now living a gluten-free lifestyle, this makes dessert a little tricky. Especially when we love cake. Luckily for me, one of our favorite desserts to make at The Table is Pavlova!
Here’s the very vague rundown:
Pavlova is very similar to a meringue, except with a marshmallow-like inside. The light and airy meringue makes a great base for dessert. It is believed to be named after the ballerina, Anna Pavlova from the late 1800’s. Anna was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She fell in love with ballet after watching “The Sleeping Beauty” at the Mariinsky Theatre when she was only eight. Anna believed in hard work, ballet didn’t come easy to her. She gained popularity and began traveling the world for shows. She was known for performing as if she was “light as air”. Both New Zealand and Australia want to take the credit for the invention of the dessert. They’re not sure who, but someone in Australia is quoted as saying this dessert is “light as pavlova”…. and from then on was called a Pavlova. We’ll never know.
“God gives talent. Work transforms talent into genius” – Anna
Like most recipes, there are tons of variations. Some use cornstarch and cream of tartar. But this is how we like to do it, plus it uses less ingredients (cha-ching!) I’ll list out the ingredients and directions, but I’ve also got a photo tutorial you can follow below
What you’ll need:
225ml room temperature egg whites, roughly 6-7 eggs depending on the size.
1.5 cups of finely granulated sugar/caster sugar
1.5 tsps of distilled white vinegar
How to do it:
1. Preheat oven to 275F
2. Prepare baking pans with parchment.
3. After measuring out the egg whites, pour into mixing bowl. Whip the egg whites until foamy.
4. Slowly add in the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. The mixture will begin to get stiff and shiny. I let the mixer run on high for about 10 minutes. To know if it’s done, taste or feel the mixture, it should be smooth, with no gritty texture left.
5. Once stiff, pour in vinegar. Fold in with a spatula.
6. Pipe or spread the meringue as desired.
7. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 275F.
8. Turn off the oven, leave Pavlova in with the door cracked for 30 more minutes.
9. Top with whipped cream, fruit, ice cream, custards, you name it!
Note: I made 2x’s this recipe, which was way more than needed. I cut down the measurements for you, so don’t be alarmed that you don’t have as much volume as the pictures show.
Foamy Egg Whites, you can now add the sugar.
Should look like this when done.
Spread onto the parchment lined pan.
That’s it! What a fun dessert, it allows for a lot of creativity! Here are some more tips that I discovered.
- This recipe is WAY TOO MUCH for 4 people. Like I said, my eyes are bigger than the tummies… I would recommend going with a 5-6in circle as opposed to a 9in. Or even better, just do individual portions like I did with my spare meringue.
- Since it was WAY TOO MUCH, I refrigerated the remains… Sadly, it does not refrigerate well, the pavlova gets all squishy from all the moisture surrounding it.
- You can flavor the pavlova… extracts work great as well as instant coffee/espresso. You can even color it if you’d like!
- If you want to make this in advance, you can freeze the pavlova. Lay one paper towel around it after completely drying, then wrap in foil. Freeze flat. Defrost for about 2 hours before serving.
Hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it! It’s a great recipe to wrap up the summer weather before we dive into fall! (I know, it’s already fall… but I’m in Florida, so fall doesn’t start until at least January. :D) Leave a comment if you’ve got any questions or suggestions!